Mr Pollie Brand Francke and family of Kommetjie (Interview in April 2019)

Posted on November 10, 2020 · Posted in History
Anne Cronje of the Francke family

Mr Pollie Brand Francke and his wife, Mrs Johanna Francke, moved to Kommetjie from Glencairn many years ago. Their granddaughter, Mrs Anne Cronje (nee Daniels), was born in Kommetjie and told her story of growing up in Kommetjie, and of their forced removal to Ocean View.

Mr and Mrs Francke moved to Kommetjie when  Anne’s mother, Jane Francke, was a child. They built a zinc house under the milkwood trees between present-day Arum Avenue and Benning Drive. The house was extended several times to accommodate the growing family. Mr Francke, a fisherman, continued to work in Glencairn, trek fishing for harders and mackerel.

Anne’s mother, Jane Francke, married Mr Tiny Fortuin Daniels, a fisherman who worked on boats, fishing between Cape Town and Walvis Bay. He was away fishing during the summer for about 6 months, and returned home in winter when he worked as a builder. Anne and her 11 siblings spent most of their childhood in the extended family home in Kommetjie.

Anne remembers a very happy childhood in Kommetjie. It was a very safe environment, and they enjoyed walking to the lighthouse at night. They also enjoyed swimming in a nearby vlei.

The family cooked on an outside fire. The children collected dry wood from under the milkwoods, and water from a spring on the beach and a tap at Long beach. There was plenty of food. The children also enjoyed making a fire on the beach to cook crayfish, limpets, mussels and small fish.

Pentjie Allen from Klein Slangkop was a friend of the family and loved visiting the Francke home as it was full of children and lots of fun.  

Then in 1968 the forced removals ended this happy family life. Council officials came with papers telling the family that they had to be out of the house by a certain date, and move to Ocean View. The family was forced to move from their large home in Kommetjie to a few different flats in Ocean View. However Anne’s grandmother, Mrs Johanna Francke, now widowed, refused to leave her home, and her oldest granddaughter, Pauline, stayed on with her in their home. Soon after the traumatic break-up of the family home Mrs Francke became ill, and her son took her to live with him in his flat in Ocean View. A very difficult and painful ending to their life in Kommetjie. 

We are raising funds for two mosaic benches to mark the forced removal of three families from Kommetjie during the apartheid forced removals. Find out about the fundraiser here: https://www.kommetjie.org/2020/11/were-raising-funds-for-two-mosaic-benches-to-mark-the-forced-removal/

Forced Removals: https://www.kommetjie.org/2020/11/forced-removals-from-kommetjie/